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The Monstrumologist (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Monstrumologist (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.4 115
by Rick Yancey, BookSource Staff (Compiler)

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A monster-hunting doctor and his apprentice try to stop a plague of Anthropophagi in the first book of Rick Yancey's new series, The Monstrumologist.


A monster-hunting doctor and his apprentice try to stop a plague of Anthropophagi in the first book of Rick Yancey's new series, The Monstrumologist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this dark tale constructed as a journal by 12-year-old orphan Will Henry, Yancey (the Alfred Kropp series) presents the story of the boy's apprenticeship to an enigmatic 19th-century “monstrumologist,” Doctor Pellinore Warthrop. Purportedly found in 2007 amid the personal effects of the recently deceased Will (at age 131), the memoir opens as a corpse is delivered to Warthrop by a grave-robber one night in 1888. What appears to be a horrific desecration of the body foreshadows a plague of headless, man-eating anthropophagi. Will, left in the doctor's care since his parents' death, is drawn into the effort to save his town and find out how the creatures reached America, and both Will and Warthrop are forced to confront their own family histories and obsessions. Yancey's elegant depiction of an America plagued with monsters, human and otherwise, spares no grisly detail (in describing feeding anthropophagi: “The head is the most coveted prize. The first to reach her seizes it and wrenches it from her neck... a steaming geyser shoots into the air and paints crimson their teeming alabaster bodies”). Horror lovers will be rapt. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
Herodotus, Shakespeare and other writers have noted the hulking, headless, cannibalistic creatures called Anthropophagi. In 1888, these beasts, originally from Africa, have begun attacking a New England village. Documenting the gothic horror in his diary ("discovered" by author Yancey while researching one of his Alfred Kropp titles) is 12-year-old orphan William James Henry, assistant to monstrumologist Dr. Warthrop. Having made the study of monsters a career, the aloof yet just doctor must solve the origin of the Anthropophagi in America and stop their widespread and extremely violent and bloody carnage, which may not rest easy with readers of any age. With numerous nods to H.P. Lovecraft and other literary and historic figures, Will's intelligent diary captures their page-turning, nightmarish adventures and the constructs and evolving scientific theories of the time as well as his budding independence. Together, Will and the doctor also explore human relationships, especially that of father and son, and the dilemmas between science and morality. The ending hints of a sequel, but can readers stomach it? (Horror. 14 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In New England in the late 19th century, Will Henry is the assistant of monstrumologist Pellinore Warthrop, a man who has dedicated his life to studying, and on occasion hunting, monsters large and small. Years later, Will Henry wrote a journal chronicling the horrific events of his twelfth year, events that Dr. Warthrop would refer to as the Anthropophagi incident. The carnivorous Anthropophagi are the stuff of nightmares with shark-like mouths in their torsos and an insatiable taste for human flesh. Steven Boyer shines in his performance of Rick Yancey's compelling story (S & S, 2009) of monsters both human and non-human. His even and measured narration ideally reflects the format of a journal written years after the incident described. Boyer skillfully navigates the Dickensian writing style and graphic descriptions of horror and gore while also bringing out the characters emotions where appropriate, particularly with the evolving relationship between Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop. While not for the faint of heart, those who can handle the gore will be rewarded by this engrossing tale of gothic horror and will be looking forward to the remaining folios of Will Henry's journal.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL

Product Details

Turtleback Books
Publication date:
Monstrumologist Series , #1
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)
990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Rick Yancey is the author of The 5th Wave and The Infinite Sea, the first two books in this series. His debut young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel The Monstrumologist received the Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn't writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.

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The Monstrumologist 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
DearReader More than 1 year ago
I will now officially join the chorus of readers who report picking up this book, reading a few pages, then staying up late into the night reading, eyes wide, needing to finish it to find out what happens. If Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King had a baby, it would be The Monstrumologist. This book is destined to be a classic. It does get gory in parts, but not gratuitously so. Highly recommended for adults, and kids that are old enough not to get nightmares from vividly told scary stories.
MandySW More than 1 year ago
It's ironic that my son's favorite song that played over and over as I read this book was Skillet's "Monster!" It would do the author Rick Yancy injustice to give his book Monstrumologist a rating of only 4 stars because it scared me silly as I read it. In fact, it was magnificently written with such vivid descriptions that it creeped me out and drove me to keep reading until I was finished! This story is about a man who is given thirteen journals to read over from the deceased William Henry to determine if there are any remaining relatives that his journals can be passed on to. The man begins reading the diaries and learns about the supposed life of William Henry who resided and assisted a monstrumologist, (one who studies and hunts monsters) Dr. Warthrop. Will and Dr. Warthrop's latest study is the dreaded Anthropophagus: a large pale beast that hunts humans at night and has a headless body resembling a man. It also has eyes in its shoulders and a mouth on its chest filled with approximately 3,000 teeth aligned like those of a shark. The Anthropophagus, native to Africa, attacked not too far from Will and the doctor's home in New England, and so the two launch an investigation to determine how the monsters arrived at a place so far from their home. As I mentioned above, this is a fast-paced scary story with such vivid descriptions that I was compelled to keep reading until I had finished it. Monstrumologist is well-deserving of the Printz Honor it has been awarded with!
Kat_Heckenbach More than 1 year ago
Yes, I know this books fits into the horror category, but I still describe it as beautiful. The writing is superb. The voice incredible. Scary, yes, Gory, yes. Dark and creepy, you bet. Which, of course, is why I chose to read it. I never expected to love this book so much, though. I didn't expect such beautiful writing, but there you have it.
KaySquared More than 1 year ago
Disclaimer: NOT a book for kids. "The Monstrumologist" is a great story, fantastic but with a hint of realism that keeps you checking over your shoulder every few minutes. It's better for teens more than kids. I'm 18, but I still loved the book. Mr. Yancey usually writes for adults. This carries over into his children's fiction. The book is structured more like an adult read, with the same vocabulary and detail of plot, but the subject matter and shear amount of imagination involved keep it a book for younger people. My friend is obsessed with cryptozoology, the study of "mythological" creatures. I introduced her to this book shortly after reading it, and she loved it. We both agree that Mr. Yancey has a skill for making the implausible seem totally plausible. His uses the perfect amount of traceable history and actual science in his book to keep the reader constantly guessing whether or not he's telling the truth. Mr. Yancey actually makes many sound arguments in this book, too. Both of his main characters struggle with the idea of loss, specifically the loss of a parent. Another major theme is the discovery that a loved one isn't who you thought they were. Both Will Henry and Warthrop struggle with that realization in varying degrees. Finally, the entire book seems to wrap around the idea of ethics in science. The major question posed by the novel is "When is it ethically of morally justified to harm others in the search for knowledge?". Mr. Yancey explores this through his monsters, their thoughts and actions. Though, in this story, the term "monster" can apply to more than just the Anthropophagi. I would highly recommend this book to a fan of science fiction, mystery, or ethical disputes, as well, to that kid who secretly loved "Frankenstein" in school. The story can get gruesome at times, but its so very worth it. "The Curse of the Wendigo", Book #2, just came out. I can't wait to read it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bloody and disgusting, but plenty of witty and dry humor in a combination that only British writers can pull off. A perfect book for curling up with only a nightlight on. NOT for children.
nobodyowens More than 1 year ago
Will Henry is the apprentice of a man who studies monsters. When a large family of anthropophagi, large flesh eating creatures with teeth in their bellies and eyes on their shoulders, attack New Jerusalem it's up to Will Henry and the doctor to destroy them. fans of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein will enjoy this well written horror story by Rick Yancey. Also, the sequel was released in October.
Christalina_Stuart More than 1 year ago
The monstrumologist was an amazing read. It had action, suspense and wonderful characters. It had a lot of humor in it also. I liked how the monstrumologist seemed to evolve and you could see how he grew closer to will henry and their relationship became stronger between eachother. It was really funny when you get to learn about dr. Kearns and his skeletons in his closet. He is mysterious and intriging and interesting to read about. I really liked how he seemed creepy at times and he seemed like a person that i would love to meet. I liked how the book sucked you in and didn't let you go. It was gruesome but amazing. It had moments where i didn't think it were possible to put the book down even to go to the restroom. I think that this book is a must read and is powerful. It is a good fantasy book that is great for rainy days and night reading.
neji_pwnz More than 1 year ago
I don't particularly like the author a lot, but he just got a hold of some old journal and published it. The result: one of the best books I've ever read! No wonder it got an award! (Although I bought my edition before it was awarded anything.) It was very suspenseful and I was loathe to put it down! When I finished it during lunch, I was very sad. However, in the epilogue, the author said that there were other journals besides the one published, so I am very much looking forward to another book (and possibly another!). This was overall a very compulsively readable novel: it's dark and creepy and violent, and, um... AWESOME!!!! Buy it. Now. Or you will regret it for the rest of your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i got this book I had such high expectations for it just simply based on the reviews. Never again. This was the most drawn out book of my life. The description of two people sitting in a parlor went on forever. Word play got ridiculous...at some points it felt like a Dr. Seuss book. For a book about monsters there is surprisingly little of their involvemnt. Its more about the Dr. And his assistant with small bits actually pretaining to the monsters. Seriously, ive been in the forest reading about a platform being built for like 2 chapters. Its like watching sap drip from a tree. It was a great idea gone bad. Sorry.
Reviewfromhere More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because it had two things that I was yearning for – horror and young adult. Horror novels have been my favorite for many, many years and I am always looking for the next one to scare me. And, young adult novels have quickly become one of my favorites so when I saw this one in the book store I decided to snatch it up. Let me first start by saying that this book may be too graphic for some readers. I was reading King when I was in elementary school so the things in this book, though gory and graphic at times didn’t affect me but that doesn’t mean they won’t turn the stomach of some readers. Will Henry has tragically lost his parents to a fire (you don’t find out just how tragic this was until the end of the book) and has become the ward of Dr. Pellinore Wathrop. The doctor studies monsters, and Will’s father was his assistant before his death. He devoted his life to the doctor’s studies, causing much fighting among his parents. Young Will never knew what was so important, but he found out all to quickly once he became the doctor’s assistant. One night there is a knock at the door – a knock that will change Will’s life forever. The caller, named Erasmus, has something he needs the Dr. to see, something so terrifying he can hardly speak. Something called Anthropophagi. What is that you might ask? A monster whose prey is humans…only humans. The description given in the book is so well written, if I had any artistic talent I could draw one right now. The author does an excellent job in painting a picture so that the reader never struggles to envision what is going on. What about the plot? Overall I did enjoy the story but it was quite slow at points. Unlike other reviews I have seen I enjoyed the relationship between the Dr. and Will, and how it came to evolve by the end of the book. In the beginning I wasn’t sure how Will put up with the lifestyle but I came to understand how much they meant to each other. I did have one gripe about the book, and it may seem ridiculous but as I kept reading it kept bothering me more and more. After describing the size of the Anthropophagi, and their voracious appetite, why didn’t they need to eat more and more often? **SMALL SPOILER ALERT*** At one point they leave behind so much carnage while killing a family I had to wonder, why didn’t they eat it all? Why was there anything left to even identify? Especially when the count is estimated at at least 30. It might seem like a small point and I certainly don’t know the size of their stomach…at least I don’t think you ever find out. But, the comparison to humans in stature, and lions or some other killer of that nature in their instinct, it just didn’t make sense. All in all I enjoyed this book but am not running out to get the next in the series. I may read it at some point but just felt like the plot dragged enough to make me want to hurry through and be done, even though there was a decent story buried in there.
starrgirl6 More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down, it was a great read can not wait to start the next one " the curse of the wendigo"
six_feet_underwater More than 1 year ago
This is the best YA horror/monster story I have read. I seriously wish there were more in the genera like it but so far nothing can compare to the fantastic creatures or the Monstrumologist himself. This book is full of twists and turns; shocks and gore; all of it written with splendor and ironically enough charm. Admittedly there were a few scenes that I had to put the book down for, and I was even gagging over one, but that it what makes a fantastic book; when you can be completely wrapped up in a character or scene that it becomes almost real. I've recommended this to several people, all of whom loved it, even my boyfriend who reads far less then I do could not put this book down, and we practically competed over who would get to read the third book of the series first. We finally had to settle on reading it together, out loud. I hope Mr. Yancey continues to write this series of monster stories, it has become one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that it w as a great book but it was confusing at times but i recommen it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! The author did a great job at giving just enough description to give you the whole picture, I enjoyed every second of this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book it is so thrilling and a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in 2 weeks and i have to admit it was one of thw best mystery/action book ive ever read. I deffinetely reccomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book in my opinion was probably one of the best I've ever read. I'm not much into horror stories but this book has a way of subtly scaring you at a moment's notice. it's detailed, graphic, and is full of odd twists and turns, I could be like a lot of people an just tell you the whole story but it wouldn't be fun to read. I strongly recommend it, even if horror stories are not your thing, it's quirky and interesting.
JulieJJJ More than 1 year ago
Excellent read! Yancey really keeps the tension going in this book and the characters are excellent (not to mention the creatures which are totally new and totally terrifying!). I couldn't put this one down. This has an X-Files/Sherlock Holmes feel and while it's marketed for teens, this is definitely a crossover that adults will love too. I've ordered the next two books in this series and can't wait to read them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I sedom have enjoyed horror stories but this one is so well written it was hard to put down! The characters, come alive from the pages and intwined themselves into your consciousness. The use of vocabulary competes with writers from a different century! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstandingly good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ive read(: it is grusome, scary, and keeps you wanting more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pure genius! By far the best book I have ever read. It's not too sappy, but also has the small moments that make you feel less alone. The perfect balance between gorey and relativety.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took me from my normal, boring world to the amazing world of monstrumology.
Whisperlynn More than 1 year ago
This was chosen for a discussion group of mine and, wow, I loved every second of this experience! From the whimsy of the historical setting, to the eccentric and compelling characters, and the rich adventure, Yancey made me fall in love with reading all over again. The Monstrumologist is a gift to teen fiction such as Sherlock Holmes was a gift to the mystery genre. A true "must read" for fans of suspense, adventure, and supernatural alike.